Last week I learned that there is a very fine line between resonating with folks and touching a nerve.
My essay about judging your kids caused quite an uproar.
Interesting to me was the difference in reaction depending on the source of the reader.
The people who read my blog on The Huffington Post were overwhelmingly negative. It seems that The HuffPost reader is a tad sensitive on whether I have the right to judge their kids (and their parenting) – without children of my own. Which actually was the whole point. I don’t think it’s fair to exclude me from commenting on how your children behave – when they are behaving in my presence. Or to say that I know nothing about parenting since I do not have children of my own.
No, I don’t have children. I am sorry that I don’t. I wish I did. You don’t always get everything you want in life. So I have to make do with enjoying and loving your children.
And I do.
But I also think that many kids could benefit from a more strenuous instruction in and enforcement of good manners.
But that doesn’t mean I hate kids. Or expect them to be perfect. For the last 40 years, I’ve had nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews, and I’ve seen my friends’ children grow up and have children of their own.
I know that all kids can be both little angels and little demons – often within the same minute. I also know that it’s difficult to be a good parent, and most folks are just doing the best they can. My sister-in-law commented that during the kindergarten years she wasn’t too concerned about whether her kids were hitting their classmates – she was just happy they weren’t biting their classmates.
I didn’t think I was nasty in my essay. I thought I was rather understanding. But hundreds of folks over at the Huffington Post thought I was an evil, rotten monster-bitch to even suggest that, overall, kids should behave. One even found my Facebook Author Page and called me some vile names. Now HuffPost is an open forum, and people can say whatever they wish. But my Facebook page is MY page. I require civility.
On the upside, the response may have been overwhelmingly negative, but then again, it was also just plain overwhelming. People read what I wrote. I’m a writer. I got read. Doesn’t get much better than that.
But actually, it does.
Because you amazing people who read my blog were overwhelmingly positive.
I believe the difference between your reaction and the Huffington reaction is that you KNOW me. You’ve read a few of my essays; you see that I am not a mean person. I’m a kind person. I look for the best in human beings. And I find it. Always.
Some people (including the special one I live with) tell me that I am naive. That I can be oblivious to the awful people and the horrible dangers that constantly surround me.
But I’m not naive. I understand that not everyone is benevolent.
But most people are.
Good people are everywhere. And if I concentrate on good people, it helps me be a good person too.
I believe I am a happier person than those who look for the worst in humanity. And why wouldn’t I want to be happy?
Thank you, good friends, for understanding me.